KARACHI: Over 4,500 cars and motorbikes were either snatched or stolen in the city during the month of September, it emerged on Monday.

According to the data compiled by the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), total 4,593 cases of snatching and theft — 212 cars and 4,381 motorbikes — of vehicles were reported from different parts of the metropolis in September this year compared to the same period last year when a total of 4,401 cars and bikes were snatched and stolen.

As many as 23 cars were snatched in different parts of the metropolis while the number of motorcycles taken away at gunpoint stood at 441.

In September 2020, 25 cars and 269 motorcycles were snatched at gunpoint across the city.

Officials say snatched vehicles are being shifted to Balochistan

The data said 189 four-wheelers and a whopping 3,940 motorcycles were stolen in city during September this year.

Last year during the same month, a total of 159 cars were stolen and the number of theft of motorcycles stood at 3,948.

Market in Balochistan

CPLC chief Zubair Habib opined that snatching of vehicles at gunpoint had gradually decreased owing to active policing, but theft of both cars and motorcycles continued unabated.

He said elimination of vehicle theft required technology with installation of surveillance cameras. He hoped that the implementation of the Karachi Safe City Project would help in controlling this crime.

Mr Habib said another factor that might help reduce the crime would be ‘dualization’ of 43-km-long Northern Bypass and construction of interchanges there. He said many snatched or stolen vehicles were taken to Hub, Balochistan through this route and dual carriageway and interchanges would help the police to establish checkpoints there.

A senior police officer, who wished not to be named, said that snatch or theft of cars had reduced significantly in the city and nowadays only double-cabin four-by-four vehicles were being lifted due to market in Balochistan and remote parts of Sindh.

Bike theft remains a challenge

He said lifting of motorbikes remained a major challenge for law enforcers.

Citing host of reasons behind increasing incidence of motorbike theft, he said their lock system was “weak or faulty” and bike manufacturing companies were not willing to invest in it.

He said there were ‘unregulated’ parking spaces without any surveillance cameras, particularly in industrial areas, where ‘thousands of motorbikes’ were parked on a daily basis from where some of those got easily stolen. Moreover, mostly drug addicts were involved in this crime as lifting bikes was an ‘easy’ job for them, he added.

The officer said there was a huge market for sale/purchase of used parts and in many cases these parts came from stolen bikes. Such markets in the city required ‘special focus’ of the police, he suggested.

Car theft hotspots

According to the CPLC, there are certain “favourite” areas of carjackers in the metropolis from where more incidents of vehicle theft often reported.

The CPLC identified corner of the Sindh Infectious Disease Hospital on University Road within the remit of the Aziz Bhatti police station; Khayaban-i-Hilal Park in Phase-VI of the Defence Housing Authority in the limits of the Darakhshan police station; area near the Chase Value store in North Nazimabad’s Block-H and the area near the Nadra Mega Centre in Block-L within the remit of the Taimuria police station as hotspots for car theft cases.

No data was, however, available regarding hotspots for car snatching cases.

Hotspots for motorbike snatching

As far as snatching of motorbikes at gunpoint is concerned, Waseem Bagh parking and Furniture Market corner in Block-13-D-II of Gulshan-i-Iqbal; Peoples Chowrangi corner; Dadabhoi Town within the remit of the Jamshed Quarters police station; Bakery petrol pump in Korangi-2 ½; Link Road Sector-32-A Korangi within the remit of the Korangi Industrial Area police (KIA) station; main Korangi Road near Vita Chowrangi in KIA remit; outside the Complainant House in Landhi; Saba Cinema, Sector-6-B New Karachi Industrial Area; near Sir Syed College Nazimabad-1 in Rizvia police limits; Jamali Pull Superhighway in Scheme-33 in Sachal police jurisdiction and Pakistan Kanta in Scheme-33 within the remit of the SITE-Superhighway Industrial Area police station were emerged as the “favourite” places where armed men struck more than once in one month to snatch motorcycles.

Hotspots for motorcycle theft

The CPLC believed that Raza Mustafa Masjid Korangi-4 in limits of Awami Colony police station; Fisheries Market Keamari in Docks police limit; Hill Park parking area within the remit of the Ferozabad police station; Faizan-i-Atta Masjid corner Block-3 in Gulshan-i-Iqbal; Govt. Hospital Korangi-5 within the remit of the Awami Colony police station; Adnan Medical Korangi-6; Nipa mobile market corner on University Road in Aziz Bhatti police limits; Service Road Bilal Masjid in New Karachi’s Sector-5-E; Quaid Ground parking at Preedy Street in Brigade police remit; parking at main Seaview Canteen No.2 in Darakshan police jurisdiction; National Medical Centre parking on main Korangi Road in the limits of Defence police and Hyderi Market Block-G North Nazimabad were the hotspots for lifting of two-wheelers during the month of September.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2021

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